The National Academy of Inventors has awarded the status of NAI Fellow to Auburn's Joseph Kloepper, Alumni Professor of plant pathology,

Joseph W. Kloepper

Professor Emeritus, Plant Pathology

(334) 844-1950 


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Entomology & Plant Patholoogy
Auburn Univ, AL 36849



  • 1980 Ph.D. Plant Pathology, University of California, Berkeley.
    PhD Thesis: The Role of Rhizobacteria in Increasing Plant Growth and Yield. Dr. Milton Schroth, Major Professor.
  • 1977 M.S. Plant Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.
    Thesis: The Role of Insects in the Epidemiology of Potato Blackleg
  • 1975 B.S. Botany and Plant Pathology (Double Major), Colorado State University


  • 1998 – Present Professor of Plant Pathology, Auburn University
  • 1992 – 1998 Professor and Head, Department of Plant Pathology, Auburn University
  • 1989 – 1992 Associate Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, Auburn University
  • 1987 – 1989 Manager, Microbial Inoculants, Allelix Agriculture, Mississauga, Ontario
  • 1985 – 1987 Group Leader, Agricultural Microbiology Group, Allelix Agriculture, Mississauga, Ontario
  • 1983 – 1985 Senior Research Scientist, Allelix Inc., Mississauga, Ontario
  • 1982 – 1983 Research Scientist, Advanced Genetic Sciences, Inc., Manhattan, Kansas
  • 1980 – 1982 Assistant Professor, University of California, Berkeley


  • 2016 Selected as Alumni Professor at Auburn University
  • 2015 Invited to be a keynote speaker at the Second International Congress on Biostimulants in Agriculture,
    Florence, Italy, November, 2015
  • 2015 Invited keynote speaker at the International Symposium:
    “Microbe-Assisted Crop Production—opportunities, challenge, and needs, Vienna, Austria
  • 2015 Received AAES Director’s Senior Research Award
  • 2015 Received Dean’s Granstmanship Award, College of Agriculture
  • 2014 Received “Excellence in Innovation Award” from the Auburn University chapter of the National Academy of Inventers


  • Member of the American Phytopathological Society
  • Member of Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Coordinator of the International PGPR Workshop which holds international meetings every 3 years.



My research is focused on the use of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) for promoting plant growth, plant health, and nutrient uptake. The emphasis is on various species and strains of the spore-forming bacilli because spores of these PGPR remain viable as seed treatments for a long period of time, thereby increasing the opportunities of integrating the PGPR into current agricultural practices. Modes of action are studied, and effects on plant pathogens as well as plant-damaging insects are evaluated in collaborations with other faculty in the College of Agriculture at Auburn University.



  • PLPA 7820 Research Proposal Writing, Fall Semester every year since 2011
  • PLPA 6060/5050 Plant Disease Management, co-teach with Dr. Lawrence, every alternate year


Refereed Journal Articles

  • Zebelo, S., Song, Y., Kloepper, J.W., and Fadamiro, H. 2016. Rhizobacteria activates (+)-δ-cadinene synthase genes and induces systemic resistance in cotton against beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua). Plant, Cell & Environment doi: 10.1111/pce.12704
  • Kampfer, P., Busse, H-J, Glaeser, S. P., Kloepper, J.W., Hu, C-H., and McInroy, J.A. Bacillus cucumis sp. nov. isolated from the rhizosphere of cucumber (Cucumis sativa). (2016) International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 1039-1044.
  • Park, Y-S, Park, K., Kloepper, J.W. and Ryu, C-M. 2015. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria stimulate vegetative growth and asexual reproduction of Kalanchoe daigremontiana. Plant Pathology Journal 31:310-315.
  • Hossain, M.J, Ran, C., Liu, K., Ryu, C-M, Rasmussen-Ive,y C.R., Williams, M.A., Hassan, M.K., Cho, S-K, Jeong, H., Newman, M., Kloepper, J.W. and Liles, M.R. 2015. Deciphering the conserved genetic loci implicated in plant disease control through comparative genomics of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens subsp. plantarum. Front. Plant Sci. 6:631. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00631
  • Ravu, R.R., Jacob, M.R., Chen, X., Wang, M., Nasrin, S., Kloepper, J.W., Liles, M.R., Mead, D.A., Khan, I.A., and Li, X-C. 2015. Bacillusin A, and antibacterial macrodiolide from Bacillus amyloliquefaciens AP183. Journal of Natural Products. 78:924-928.
  • Genome sequence of the plant endophyte Bacillus pumilus INR7, triggering induced systemic resistance in field crops. 2014. Genome A. Vol 2, Issue 5.
  • Coy, R.M., Held, D.W., and Kloepper, J.W. 2014. Rhizobacterial inoculants increase root and shoot growth in ‘Tifway’ bermudagrass. J. Environ. Hort. 32(3)149-154.
  • Choi, S-K, Jeong, H., Kloepper, J.W., and Ryu, C-M. 2014. Genome sequence of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens GB03, an active ingredient of the first commercial biological control product. Genome Announcements 2:

Refereed Reviews and Book Chapters

  • Calvo, P., Nelson, L., and Kloepper, J.W. 2014. Agricultural uses of plant biostimulants. Plant and Soil 383:3-41 (Marchner Review)
  • Ramírez, C.A., and Kloepper, J.W. 2012. Rizobacteria promotoras del crecimiento vegetal. Capítulo 6 (p. 97-126) in Enfermedades de Plantas: Control Biológico. LM. Howos Carvajal, ed. Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá. (Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria, Chapter 6 in Plant Diseases: Biological Control).
  • Kumar, K.V.K., Reddy, M.S., Kloepper, J.W., Lawrence, K.S., Zhou, X.G., Groth, D.E., Zhang, X., Rao, R.S., Want, Q., Raju, M.R.B., Faju, S.K., Fernando, W.G.D., Sudini, H., Du, B., and Miller, M.E. 2011. Commercial potential of microbial inoculants for sheath blight management and yield enhancement of rice. Chapter 9 in Bacteria in Agrobiology: Crop Ecosystems, D.K. Maheshwari, (ed.), Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
  • Kumar, K.V.K., Raju, S.K., Reddy, M.S., Kloepper, J.W., Lawrence, K.S., Groth, D.E., and Miller, M.E., 2009. Sheath blight disease of rice (Oryza sativa L.) – an overview. Biosciences, Biotechnol. Res. Asia. 62:465-480.
  • Kloepper, J.W., and Ryu, C.-M. 2006. Bacterial endophytes as elicitors of induced systemic resistance. In: Soil Biology, Volume 9; Microbial Root Endophytes. B; Schulz, C. Boyle, and T.N. Sieber (Eds.). Springer-Verlag, Berlin.


I do not have a formal extension appointment but have conducted field research on the use of PGPR for promoting plant growth and protecting against plant diseases and insects. This work has included several SARE projects over the years with other faculty at Auburn University.